Between 1939 and 1945, nearly six million Polish citizens perished under Nazi Germany’s brutal World War II occupation of their country.
More than half of Poland’s victims were of Jewish origin and they, in turn, accounted for half of the six million European Jews who perished during the Holocaust.
Many were killed in death camps set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland — including the most notorious, Auschwitz-Birkenau.
So if you want to say something on the subject, you really need to get the facts straight and the words right. You can’t call someone oversensitive on this subject, can you?
In this case, I don’t think Obama can blame the teleprompter either.
Poland has demanded an apology from Washington after President Barack Obama spoke of a “Polish death camp” while announcing an award to a resistance fighter for alerting the world to the Nazi Holocaust, largely perpetrated on Polish soil.
The matter is a delicate one in Poland, which suffered a brutal Nazi occupation during World War Two and has long campaigned against suggestions it bore any responsibility for the slaughter of some 6 million European Jews.
“The White House will apologize for the outrageous mistake,” Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday. “It’s a pity that ignorance and incompetence overshadowed such a momentous ceremony.”
The White House on Wednesday shrugged off Polish demands to express more than mere ‘regret’ after President Barack Obama mistakenly referred to a Nazi Holocaust site as a “Polish death camp.”
“We regret the misstatement, but that is what it was,” said Obama spokesman Jay Carney, reiterating that the president “misspoke” during a ceremony awarding the highest US civilian honor to late Holocaust hero Jan Karski.
“He was referring to Nazi death camps in German-occupied Poland.”
Poland had earlier insisted that Washington must do more than simply express the “regret” offered by another White House spokesman late on Tuesday, hours after Obama’s use of words deemed offensive by Warsaw.
Obama’s verbal slip overshadowed his posthumous award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Karski, a Polish underground officer who provided the Allies with early eyewitness accounts of Nazi genocide against European Jews.
Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Obama’s words had hurt all Poles and he expected more from Washington than just regret.
Maybe the people of Poland shouldn’t take this too personally, after all, this is not the only time Obama has ‘misspoke’, on a few occasions, he has mentioned in speeches ‘his sons’, when he clearly has two daughters. Some of the time, it looks like he doesn’t even know what religion he is either. Then there is the issue of how many states he thinks there are in the country.